Sample itinerary of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka classic route in 7 days

7 to 9 days
Senso-ji temple and Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO
Highest mountain, Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, Hakone  ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO
Highest mountain, Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, Hakone ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

Some of you are wondering if you should use JR pass or not for one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka via Hakone and Kyoto. Actually JR pass does not meet this trip. The price of 7-day JR pass is 29100 yen. One way base fare from Tokyo to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka plus Shinkansen surcharge is around 14000 yen. As long as you have one way trip from Tokyo to Kyoto or Osaka, JR pass is way more expensive than single fare. Even if you use JR pass when you stay in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, it is not realistic to spend another 15000 yen. Base fare in these cities is 200 to 500 yen.

In this post, I show you the sample itinerary and some deals in these cities.

*When you follow this sample itinerary, please check the updated timetable. You can find more information about timetable at the link below:

Guide to plan your trip. How to find Japan Railway’s timetables

Day 1 Narita or Haneda airport to downtown Tokyo

JR’s airport express train, Narita Express

Suggested deals for Narita passengers

There are many deals available. Please refer the following link about Narita deals:

Suggested deals for Haneda passengers

Please refer the following links:

Day 2 Tokyo

Senso-ji temple and Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

Enjoy sightseeing in Tokyo.

You can find the detailed information of train system in downtown Tokyo in the link below. You also can find the information about the deals:

In Tokyo, the single fare is very reasonable because of a short trip. The regular fare may be cheaper if you visit one or two places. You may use IC card, such Suica or Pasmo instead:

Day 3 Tokyo to Hakone

Owakudani is one of Must-See spots in Hakone. ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
08:53 Shinjuku
Odakyu railway’s limited express “Romancecar” Hakone 9
10:35 Hakone-Yumoto

Leave your baggage at hotel or locker at the station. Enjoy sightseeing Hakone all day.

Odakyu Railway is most convenient to get Hakone and cheaper than JR trains. You can purchase base fare ticket and Hakone Free Pass Odawara departure at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center at Shinjuku station.

Suggested deals

Base fare ticket (Shinjuku – Odawara) and Hakone Free Pass (Odawara departure 2 days)

You may find more information about Hakone Free Pass and Odakyu Railway in the link below:

Hakone Free Pass official site

Shinjuku departure Hakone Free Pass (5140 yen) is not required for this itinerary. Because it includes round trip to/from Shijuku. But you do not come back to Shinjuku and leave Hakone then go to Kyoto next day. Of course single fare for Shinjuku-Odawara is cheaper than the difference between Shinjuku departure Hakone Free Pass and Odawara departure Hakone Free Pass.

Once you get Hakone, use Hakone Free Pass as much as you can. You can get most of places in Hakone by this pass.

I recommend you to stay in Hakone for at least one night. But if you want to visit Hakone as “luggage free” day trip from Tokyo, Hakone Free Pass Shinjuku departure is the best deal.

I have the post which explains about the access to Hakone and the trip plan in Hakone in the link below:

Day 4 Hakone to Kyoto

Fushimi Inari shrine is most popular spot in Kyoto in these days. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
09:40 Hakone-Yumoto
Hakone Tozan Railway
09:54 Odawara
10:08 Odawara
Hikari 507
12:13 Kyoto

Odawara station is the nearest JR station to Hakone. You can catch the the Tokaido Shinkansen to get Kyoto. Please find the details about Odawara station at the following:

There are some Shinkansen train, “Hikari” stop at Odawara and takes you to Kyoto without any transfer. I picked 10:08 departure, Hikari 507. Please see the timetable at the link below and find the train what you want to take:

JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable

You may find Hikari which stop at Odawara mostly every two hours. Please try to catch this kind of Hikari. This is the fastest and direct way to get Kyoto from Odawara.

There is no deals to cover the trip from Odawara to Kyoto. The base fare ticket and the Shinkansen seat fee ticket are required to take the Tokaido Shinkansen. You can purchase these tickets in advance if you want. The Shinkansen and limited express surcharge tickets can be purchased at most major JR stations that have reservation window, a.k.a. “Midori no Madoguchi”. The base fare ticket also can be purchased with surcharge ticket at same time. If you do so, you can just transfer from Hakone Tozan Railway train to the Shinkansen at Odawara.

If you follow my suggested itinerary, you have half day for sightseeing in Kyoto. I recommend you to visit south part of Kyoto, like Fushimi Inari. It’s just 5 minutes away from Kyoto station by Nara line local train. If you want, you can visit even Nara.

If you need some more information about Kyoto station, please refer the link below:

Day 5 Kyoto

Arashiyama is very popular in any season. © soryofu/© JNTO

You can enjoy in Kyoto for all day.

Please refer the links below to find the information of train system in Kyoto and deals in Kyoto.

Day 6 Kyoto to Osaka

Osaka castle is very accessible. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
09:14 Kyoto
Special rapid
09:43 Osaka

I use JR train, Special Rapid which is the fastest way to get Osaka (Umeda). It is a sort of commute train. Only base fare is required to take this train.

There are many other trains running between Kyoto and Osaka. Please see the link below to find the train network in Kansai area:

After arriving in Osaka, you may add the deal as you need.

Day 7 Osaka to Kansai airport

There are some deals available. Please see the link below:

Summary and total costs

If you have one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka, as you read above, the key is how to combine some local deals and the regular fare ticket. In this itinerary, approximate total cost is 23,000 to 26,000 yen. It is cheaper than JR Pass 7-day. And JR Pass does not cover Hakone area, subway and city bus in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. You might feel the total cost is very close to JR Pass 7-day. But actual different is much bigger.

I show you 7 days itinerary but you can extend staying in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto or Osaka. And also I have another sample itinerary that includes Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka only. Please see the following post to find it.

I hope this post will help you to build your trip plan to Japan!


  1. Jean says:

    Hi takeshi

    Can I seek your advice on land transport on the following

    Flying in to Osaka. Stay 2 days
    Osaka to kyoto. Stay 2 days
    Kyoto to Tokyo. Stay 2 days
    Tokyo to haneda


  2. Suzanne says:

    Hello, can you please tell me if this itinerary is worth getting a JR 7 day Rail pass or any other recommendations you will make? I greatly appreciate your input and advice!! Thank you
    Day 1 – arrive to Osaka Kansai airport (August 15)
    Day 2 – spend day in Osaka
    Day 3 – day trip to Nara, then return to Osaka
    Day 4 – train from Osaka to Mt. Fuji (looking at Kozantei Ubuya Ryokan)
    Day 5 – climb Mt. Fuji
    Day 6 – train to from Mt Fuji area Ito
    Day 7 – explore Ito (looking at Yokikan Ryokan)
    Day 8 – train to Tokyo in morning
    Day 9 – depart from Narita in evening

  3. Julie says:

    Hi, ive found your page and its very informative. My daughter and I are travelling to Tokyo, Narita in september for a week. We want to see mount Fuji, maybe Hakone or Lake area. Then we want to visit Koyasan and have temple stay. Then some time in Kyoto, we have been Kyoto before but want to visit a few sights we missed last time such at Fushimi shrine. Can you advise on best way to do these places with best travel options. Which order to visit would be helpful. Thanks so much Julie

  4. Bob says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Could you take a look at our itinerary? Should we get 7 day JR pass? Which passes should we buy while staying in our base cities and for day trips? This is still preliminary so suggestions on moving things around are welcomed. We are not sure if it is better to take day trips from Osaka or Kyoto (such as Nara and Hiroshima). Is it possible to go from Hakone to HND to depart or too risky?


    24-Oct Osaka-Arrive KIX
    25-Oct Osaka-Day trip Hiroshima and Miyajima (better from Kyoto?)
    26-Oct Osaka-Day trip Mt. Koya and Nara (better from Kyoto?)
    27-Oct Osaka-Day trip Kobe and Himeji
    28-Oct Kyoto-Osaka to Kyoto – Eastern Kyoto
    29-Oct Kyoto-Day trip Arashiyaman, Sagano Scenic Railway-Kyoto
    30-Oct Tokyo-Kyoto to Tokyo
    31-Oct Tokyo
    1-Nov Tokyo-Day trip Yokohama
    2-Nov Tokyo-Day trip Izu
    3-Nov Tokyo-Day trip Odaiba
    4-Nov Tokyo-Day trip Kawagoe?
    5-7 Nov Tokyo
    8-Nov Hakone-Tokyo to Hakone (Fuji Hakone freepass?)
    9-Nov Hakone-Follow Odakyu Fuji Hakone course
    10-Nov Depart HND

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Bob,

      You may use JR pass 7 days for the first 7 days of your trip.
      I suggest you to make some change your itinerary.

      1) Mt. Koya and Nara
      It’s a bit tight. I think you will spend one full day for Mt. Koya. And JR Pass does not cover Mt. Koya. Koyasan World Heritage Pass is recommended.

      If you really want to visit Nara much more than Koyasan, give you Koyasan and visit Nara and southern Kyoto, such as Uji, Fushimi.

      2) Trip to Izu
      This is the longest trip when you are in Tokyo. It should be in 7 days coverage period. So try to visit Izu on 31-Oct. Other trips are closed to Tokyo and single fare is fine.

      3) Hakone
      Are you visiting just Hakone? or Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi? If you visit both, Fuji Hakone Pass is recommended. But if you are okay with just view of Fuji, you can see Mt. Fuji from Hakone. In this case, Hakone Free Pass is fine. If you use Fuji Hakone Pass, you should visit Lake Kawaguchi first. Because Hakone is closer to Haneda.

      If you leave from Haneda in the afternoon, you may take direct bus to Haneda from Hakone.

      But this bus is not covered by Fuji Hakone Pass. If you use Fuji Hakone Pass, give up the portion of return trip to Shinjuku or back to Shinjuku and go to Haneda.

      Anyway as long as your flight depart in the afternoon, you can depart from Hakone. But if your flight leave in the morning, it may be risky.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. hanhnguyenzee
    Zee says:


    I’m still wondering where I should buy a JR Pass or not. Here is my travel plan:

    – Day 1-4: Tokyo
    – Day 5-6: Kyoto
    – Day 7-10: Osaka

    I’ll be making side trips to Nara, Himeji and Mount Koya. Is it better to buy individual ticket or any JR pass?

    Thank you very much.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Zee,

      If you arrive and depart from Tokyo, 7 days JR Pass fit for day 4 to 10. If you one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka, single fare may be cheaper. But if you take Shinkansen from Osaka to Himeji, the difference is very small. JR pass is still more expensive than single fare but it’s more flexible.

      The choice is yours.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Kate says:

    I will be staying at odawara for 2 nights. If I purchase the Hakone 2 days free pass, does it include unlimited trips from odawara to Hakone and back? Or does the pass only starts from hakone- Yumoto station?

  7. Dwi & Emil
    Dwi says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’ve been reading your impressive blog. I looked through your list of itineraries, but I couldn’t seem to find any on a round trip using JR Pass, for instance if I want to travel across Japn from KIX for 7-8 days and then return to KIX.
    If you have a link that I probably missed, please let me know. Thanks!

  8. Senja says:

    Thanks for your helpful article. We will be visiting Japan for 10 days in July arriving and departing via Narita. We’d like to visit Kyoto and Osaka as well. Is it better for us to buy the JR pass or can we just buy the loose tickets?


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Senja,

      Tokyo-Osaka round trip fare by Shinkansne is just slightly cheaper than 7 days JR pass. You will use the pass during stay in Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto. So JR Pass 7 days is the best choice for you. As long as you use the pass for Tokyo-Osaka/Kyoto-Tokyo portion of your trip, it will work.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Hi,

    I’ll be in Japan on June 10-16, and I’m quite confused with the railway system. Anyhow, here are my planned dates and cities:

    June 10- (Arrival at Narita) Tokyo
    June 11- Tokyo
    June 12 – Osaka
    June 13 – Osaka
    June 14 – Kyoto
    June 15 – Tokyo
    June 16 – Flight back to Manila

    And seeing that I’m actually gonna be going to three major cities, would you recommend for me to buy the 7day pass, or just purchase the tickets individually? Can I also use the 7-day pass from the Airport to Tokyo and Vice Versa?

    Your reply would very much be helpful.
    Thank you.


  10. Quynh Nguyen
    MIa says:

    Hi there !

    I plan to stay in Japan for 11 days and will purchase Jprail pass for 7 days. Here is my plan

    Day 1 and 2 Tokyo to Nikko

    Day 2 to 3 Nikko to Mt. Fuji

    Day 3 to 5 Mt. Fuji to Shikagawa-go

    Day 5 to 7 shirakawa-go to Kanazawa

    Day 7 to 10 Kanazawa to Kyoto

    Day 10 to 11 Kyoto to Osaka

    Would you kindly show me how to go from Tokyo to Nikko till I get to Kyoto. I’ve been trying to read the direction online but It doesn’t help much. I’m more on the visualize side that when I see thing I wild remember well but not wording with direction alone. I really appreciate if you could help me out thanks

    Best regard,


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